With tropical fruit like mangoes and kiwi, you’ve got to eat the fruit just at the right time of ripeness. Under-ripe kiwi is suck-your-face-in-puckery-sour and over-ripe mangoes are blah and mushy.
So what to do with imperfect fruit? Slightly cook them for a warm, tropical fruit salsa, "Floribbean" style. (Yeah, it’s a dumb name, but restaurants in Florida use it all the time. It basically means Florida + Caribbean style, if you haven’t guessed already. These days, it really just refers to a tropical dish.)
Peel and dice the kiwi, mango, and pineapple and cook them along with sugar, a pinch of salt and a dash of chili powder. Other fruit like papaya are also fabulous too.
You’ll have to adjust the amount of sugar on your own, as it’s based on how sweet or sour your fruit is. I always like to have just a slight tang in the salsa, so a simple squeeze of lime at the end is perfect. Again, the amount of lime juice is based on taste.
And to top it all off with something a little extra special is toasted sweetened coconut flakes! Welcome to paradise.
Recipe and photos updated, first published 2009.
Sautéed Shrimp with Tropical Fruit Salsa
Want to have extra flavorful and juicy shrimp? Brine them for exactly 30 minutes first, in a brine of 1 quart water, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup kosher salt (or 3 Tbsp table salt), and 1 cup ice. Dissolve the sugar and salt into the water first, before adding the shrimp and ice.
- 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil (coconut oil or canola oil)
- 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 mango, peeled and diced
- 1 cup diced pineapple
- 2 kiwi-fruit, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup finely diced red or sweet onion
- 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
- 1/4 lime
- 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- Salt and pepper
- 3 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
Toast coconut flakes:
Heat a large frying pan or sauté pan on medium heat. Add the coconut flakes and stir constantly, until the flakes are slightly browned at the edges.
Immediately spoon onto a plate to stop the cooking and prevent burning. Set aside to cool.
Sauté the shrimp:
Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Return the same frying pan to the stove and heat on medium high heat. Pour in 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat.
When the oil is hot, add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes each side or until just barely cooked through. Spoon out the shrimp to a serving platter.
Sauté the fruit:
Use the same frying pan, heat to medium-high heat, pour just 2 teaspoons of cooking oil and swirl to coat.
When the oil is shimmering, add the diced onion and sauté for 1 minute. Add the mango, pineapple, and the kiwi and cook for 1 minute until bubbly and softened.
Add the fresh mint, sugar, chili powder and just a pinch of salt.
Finish with a light squeeze of lime, sprinkled on top of the shrimp.
Sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes:
Sprinkle the shrimp and salsa with toasted coconut flakes.